Department of Folklore Explores Ritual and Gender
In 2008 Roinn an Bhéaloidis: the Department of Folklore and Ethnology hosted the conference of The Societé Internationale d’Ethnologie et de Folklore (SEIF). Under the headship of Dr Stiofán Ó Cadhla this was organised jointly by Jennifer Butler, a doctoral student, with Ritual Year Working Group. The conference was entitled “The Ritual Year and Gender” and featured keynote lectures from Emily Lyle, Professor Peggy Reeves Sanday as well as Associate Professor Gearóid Ó Crualaoich. Jenny Butler subsequently edited the proceedings in the key journal Cosmos: The Journal of the Traditional Cosmology Society. This is a biannual journal concerned with myth, religion and cosmology across cultural and disciplinary boundaries and with worldviews in the past and present; it appears in June and December.
The artilces were selected from the papers presented at the conference held in Cork between 22nd and 26th of June 2008 with the assistance of the department and the Arts Faculty Conference Fund and the Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Support Programme. It brought together folklorists and ethnologists as well as scholars from other disciplines to present papers and discuss future directions for the study of calendar customs and related topics. There were 45 papers presented in total, with delegates from Ireland, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greece, France, Lithuania, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Russia. The intention of the conference was to examine aspects of the ritual year that relate to gender in either a social or symbolic sense and thus resulted in both empirical and theoretical contributions to the scholarly understanding of the interplay between calendar events and gender. This edition of the well-respected scholarly Cosmos collects together the varied and novel perspectives of leading scholars in the discipline and represents a significant contribution to our knowledge of people and their culture.